According to Head Coach John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets’ star rookie Zach Werenski won’t be returning to the lineup this season due to a facial fracture he suffered during last night’s tilt with the Penguins.
Werenski out for season with facial fracture.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) April 17, 2017
Tortorella said first thing out of Werenski's mouth was that he was upset he couldn't play.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) April 17, 2017
For those of you who didn’t watch the game or don’t have any form of social media, Werenski was the unfortunate receiving end of a quick wrister by Phil Kessel, catching the puck solely with his right cheekbone.
The 19-year-old defenseman was down for a solid 10 seconds after the blow on a second period possession that Pittsburgh’s Bryan Rust would eventually capitalize on and tie the game at 3-3. When he finally managed to get up and skate off the ice, blood dripping down his face, Werenski entered the locker room where he’d get seven stitches directly underneath his right eye.
While we all thought he’d be out for the game, the determined rookie showed unbelievable poise and strength, returning to the bench in the third period donning a full mask to protect the carnage to his face.
Werenski was immediately taken to the hospital after the overtime loss, where the millennial uploaded a selfie to his Twitter page depicting the progression of bruising, scarring, and point to which his right eye had started to close.
We irrevocably salute Werenski’s toughness and wish him a swift recovery. It’ll be interesting to see what Tortorella chooses to do with his defensive line pairings, as well as how the rest of this post-season series will play out.